We started pruning on Monday. Because of low temperature, we didn’t start until 12:30. Wednesday Cameron had an afternoon meeting so we started at 9 am. The weather cooperated, but my feet were cold by 11. In the coming week we will skip Mon & Tues because Cameron will be in Seattle.
Below is a photo (from the web) of what our job looks like.
Using the terms in the drawing (below), the long horizontal cordon will have a few to a dozen or so arms – places where growth occurs, like tree limbs. We cut off old growth – note the gray color in the above image, extra of last year’s growth. The gray is 2-year old wood while the others are one year old. We cut most of the wood away, leaving just one spur with two buds. A new cane will grow from this point, perhaps 2 to 10 feet long.
About May, the growth is so fast you can almost see it happen. Grape clusters form on the new cane close to the arm.
There are other ways of training vines and pruning. Methods are easily found on the web. The idea is to reduce the potential crop to a level the vine (roots and leaves) can ripen for quality wine. The weather has to cooperate.
For red wines the sugar content at harvest will be about 25%; the seedless table grapes bought at a grocery store will be about 17%. Such table grapes would make a wine of under 10% alcohol.
We have an early start for this year, so we may finish before April. But our fastest pruner will be gone for a week – so maybe not. That is Tom, and I always take a row next to him. He helps in my row and then I keep up. Thereby, he and I stay with the others – Cameron, Eric, and Mark. (Mark has had a cold but should be with us on Wednesday).
I’ve stopped the wood stove and I am waiting for a gasket to go around the catalytic combustor. I should have the cleaning and reassembly done by Tuesday.
I think my microwave is wearing out. The turntable alternates in its direction. It appears to be built to turn clockwise most of the time, then it will reverse on a start and go counterclockwise. I don’t know why it wasn’t built to alternate equally, but it never did.
Now its preferred direction produces a clunking sound. Something is wrong with the motor or turning mechanism. If I stop it and make it go counter-clockwise, it works fine.
It is about 20 years old, so I’m investigation new ones. My current choice will cost (with tax) about $300. I’ll have to see what BiMart and Costco have. The current one hasn’t died yet.
Keeping Track on the